I think that you can create various sounds on the earth if you devise it. It has a large number of presets and is probably used in many movie and game productions. In particular, the environmental sound has a depth, and I think it is the best class in the library of sound effects. If the price was a little cheaper, it was ☆ 5 with a margin.Read Review
LUNARIS is no ordinary collection of pad samples; it is a 4-layer pad instrument that will take your creative abilities to the next level. I've always been a fan of pads, since they work in so many genres, including atmospheric, country and pop songs and even modern music, from Rammstein to Dream Theatre. The demo below includes only a few dozen sound samples, out of the 500+, and they were randomly selected for the composition. The samples fall into different categories, including Sonic Underworld, Dark, Ambient, Sequenced, Original Luftrum Volumes and Drafts & Leftovers. It also requires Kontakt to operate, although the free Player version works just fine. Lunaris also operates as a standalone instrument for live playing, or within a DAW when recording (via the Kontakt platform in either instance).
What makes the sounds in Lunaris so breathtaking is that there are four layers working concurrently, making the sounds huge and complex – absolute ear-candy! Of course, you can isolate and play just one or two layers, if looking for something simple, but Lunaris really blossoms through its density. One of the key features behind Lunaris is the ability to change any of the layers, with 100 different sound sources (and an extra 100 source sources/field recordings/synth transients/synth soundscapes, e.g., ice crackling, ocean waves, bell-like harmonics, etc., for layers C & D). To help with experimentation is a Random button, which randomly selects different sounds for the layers, allowing you to experience and discover 'blindly' and quickly, which is quite fun, as you never know what sound and texture will suddenly appear. That function does not affect other settings, e.g., what envelopes, filters or modulation is assigned. When considering how many combinations can be produced – in the thousands – Lunaris extends far beyond those 500 presets.
There still are several other features. For example, each layer can be customized with the Amp Envelope (ADSR), which controls how a sound is shaped over time, and there's also the Filter tool, to control the cut-off frequency and filter. An accompanying tool is the Filter Split button, which helps keep the mud out of pad creation by intelligently sorting all the active filters in different bands. This keeps the layers from fighting over the same frequencies, and if you don't like the program's recommendations, then clicking on the Reset button brings you back to the original frequency settings. Another feature that impresses is the Time Stop function, which allows you to stretch sound, from 0-100%... to the point of freezing it for some unusual and incredible outcomes. This feature can be applied to any one or all layers concurrently.
Each layer further has a set of controls that can be applied individually or globally, including various effects, e.g., distortion, chorus, delay, reverb, EQ and phaser. Now, be aware that Lunaris is a CPU hog, and once you start combining multiple patches (of four layers each), you can run into sound quality issues (e.g., popping and crackling). This can be rectified, as I did in the demo, by removing all the reverbs from the four layers of a preset, and then applying only one reverb globally, thereby saving on CPU processing. Part 2 of the Lunaris instructional video (see below) covers basic operation of the program, including setting a global command. And still there are a few more features worth mentioning. The Flux Motion tool is a modulation system that controls the filter cut-off, amplitude and panning of the layers – all of which affects sound motion. This works in conjunction with the MOD/SEQ, a step sequencer with two low-frequency oscillators, which allows for modulation of pitch, filter, panning or volume at synced rates.
Overall, even without all the tools to customize and create your own presets, Lunaris is utterly stunning and a fantastic buy at $159 USD (sign up for the Luftrum newsletter and get 20% off). The pads are so breathtaking that they are very much all-consuming – you can't help but want to play and listen to them. Unfortunately, this makes the program a time vampire, due to its addictive nature and the difficulty in pulling yourself away from the piano/synth as you discover new sounds that are nothing short of extraordinary. And maybe that's a fortunate thing.Read Review
Bioscape is a Kontakt and Komplete platform-based sampler, with over 320 presets in the categories of pads, textures, ASMR, drones, pulses, playables and effects. Designed by Luftrum Sound Design (and a team of field recorders), the sounds in this package are astounding, and an obvious winner for the KVR Audio Readers Choice Award 2020. Other descriptive terms for this package include unique, organic (even the metallic sounds) and crystal clear, making it ideal for film scores, gaming soundtracks and also those who compose in the genre of ambient music. The demo included with this review covers only some of the hundreds of sounds, none of which were edited (more on that later); the demo's intention is to present some sounds I find captivating, but also to illustrate some of the features of this program's platform. It is these features that allow you to take Bioscape to a completely different realm as you create some of your own unique takes with all the morphing tools at your disposal.
Exceptionally flexible, Bioscape has a host of tools and parameters designed to work with the included sound samples, but you also can drag and drop your own sound samples for personalized experimentation and composition. The Bioscape platform has two sections or layers (wave files), and each with its own editing parameters. You can play/record just one layer, whereas invoking both layers results in A being stacked atop B. You can take those sound samples and adjust the length or target of each, e.g., loop a section of the entire wave. You then can play either layer forward or reverse, as well as forward/reverse stop and even ping-pong them if desired. Each layer further has its own filters and envelopes, as well as a number of effects, including modulation, delays, reverbs and a step sequencer that is ultra-easy to use (thus allowing for a basic sound to become a rhythmic pulse).
If that wasn't enough, you can take a wave and enter a new realm with the Mutate DNA and Motion Recording functions. Mutate DNA comprises of several sound characteristics that can be applied to a sound sample, for one or both layers. Each layer has 25 different themes, such as biomass, carbon, bow, eternal, machine, etc., and it's amazing how different a sampled sound can be when switching from one theme to another – utterly different! Not all mutations work with all samples (e.g., a 'ping' sound vs a pad), but you can spend hours discovering hundreds of different textures with this one tool. The Motion Recording permits you to control the dynamic movement of volume, cutoff, pitch, panning and effects in real time, e.g., as you move the cursor about on the XY Pad you can record the outcome. The result is a far more organic life to the samples, and definitely a backbone to some original composition.
Overall, for $159 USD, you get more than some amazing samples; Bioscape is an editing platform that will entertain and inspire for a long time to come. Consequently, expect to invest many a wee hour in the night addicted to Bioscape, and be prepared to be impressed. Bioscape works as a standalone platform or within a DAW, working with its host, Kontakt player (you do not need the full version). And it also works with Komplete, both programs that are available for free download through Native Instruments.Read Review
"A Sonic Kaleidoscope of Found Sound Cinematics"
Bioscape, from my testing, is a rich collection of unique loops (in terms of quality and variety) and an astonishingly creative piece of gear. With full access to add in one's own samples, and do various manipulations to blends of these, with the help of DAW automation, there are wide and enjoyable creative possibilities. I had to crack open the manual a bit to help me fully realize what was happening, and having some experience with a few mediocre products by other less famous companies caused me to be initially skeptical.
It is NKS-compatible and works great on the free Kontakt 6.2 Player or Kontakt 6.2.
Like with Lunaris (a Kontakt Pad library instrument from the same developer that I'd previously reviewed), it is a pro-level instrument with an artistic personal flair. Based on the website, these are only the first two Kontakt libraries Liftrum has released but this is not apparent in the quality. The control options are relatively up on the level of releases by the larger Kontakt developers, for the most part, and I love the fact that it allows user sample import.
Prior to working Lunaris I had worked with I had purchased a few libraries from Luftrum for Omnisphere and Iris 2, and I was aware that Luftrum is capable of equisite sound design. Luftrum products include sounds and presets from Luftrum himself, and sometimes from other well-known sound designers like Simon Stockhausen, Arksun, Triple Spiral Audio, and Sonic Underworld to name a few.
Happily, Bioscape includes Time Stop, which can creatively but effectively granularize things compositionally. In terms of the choice of sounds included, and for its features and especially the fact that it allows the import of one's own samples, it is an excellent product. While there are other "morph" tools that allow one to import samples, this one has more features. It allows one to modulate and morph and manipulate one's samples in ways that other similar products do not. (I have a large collection of personally created samples as well as contortions of other interesting things. It handles those I've created with Loop Points using FL Studio Edison (I suppose there are many other tools to create loop points with - including Sound Forge, which I own). It also has a very well-chosen set of included snapshots and samples, not bland material. My CPU did okay, although it is not the lightest plugin to run by any means.
Bioscape in essence is mostly Cinematic, but I would probably want to use it for sound design for some other genres including Trap and Ambient Electronica, etc It comes with 324 snapshots in categories including ASMR, Dronescapes, Effects, Pads, Playables, Pulses, and Textures. The presets consist of 4 layers (A-D) that work in pairs of A-B and C-D. The layers can be set to loop forward, reversed, or ping pong'd, or to play as one shots. Apparently each layer can be used for a user slot, but I wasn't entirely clear on this.
As an example, there is a snapshot in the Pulses category called Electro Static ES, which comprises the waves called "Before The Rain" and "Gran Sabana" in layers A & B. Layers C and D have the text "User Slot (Empty). This snapshot is very useable for analog modular styles, and can be synced to DAW tempo, but I found it more intriguing to use polyrhythmically, by manipulating the tempo in my DAW (FL Studio) and recording the result (in my case into Edison so I could further edit it). Clicking on the layers reveals a menu for loading a different wave file, and one may also drag in a user sample, which will show up in the User folder (it is preferable to put these wave files in a safe consistent place because the wave file itself will not be re-saved automatically when you save your snapshot creations.).
There are a great deal of electrosatic samples (in the category 'electric') which I find highly useful for what I like to create and manipulate, along with the individual wave categories of bowed, cityscapes, creatures, deserts, drones, forests, harps, ice, industrial, metal, misc, mountains, water, and wind. Obviously a great deal of care was made in field recording and choosing these samples.
Found on the Main screen, the wave file pairs (AB and CD) each have their own ASDR envelope filter to be used in combination with a choice of 24 different filter types per layer to choose from, including from "Lowpass (LP) filters to Highpass (HP) and Bandpass (BP) filters, plus formant and notch filters. The filters types range from 2-pole to 4-pole filters with State Variable (SV), Ladder and Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters, per filter category (LP, HP and BP)."
Also in the MAIN tab, in addition to the ADSR envelope, one finds the panning and the tuning of the layer, velocity control, and the keyfollow of the amplitude, and with the FILTER tab, one can set the filter envelope, the cutoff frequency, the resonance as well as the filter envelope amount for the cutoff and the keyfollow for the filter.
Additionally one can turn KEYTRK on or off, and control how the loop behaves.
Next there are two mutate types performing a function called "Mutate DNA" that be applied (one or both at the same time) to apply certain changes to the existing snapshots, towards creating variations (based on names of these variation types, such as droned, dark, dynamic, eternal, noisy, frozen, bowed, harmonic, modulated, organic, etc.) Some very beautiful or usefully-dramatic results can be made to occur.
Following that, in a window in the center of the screen, is a tool for "Motion Recording", in which the x/y positions essentially determines the mixture of the four layers. (This begins to compare to the Orb in Omnisphere, although a user doesn't have direct access to inspect the parameters and control of Omnisphere's Orb - and has to reverse engineer it in one's mind - although more fx and parameters are no doubt in play in Orb). With Motion Recording one can use motion that has been recorded using Kontakt Script Array preset files. One can also record one's own motion preset files, then activate the Play button, and It sort of acts like a tape machine, where recording and playback is triggered by your key press. The X-Y pad acts as a crossfade between layers. There is also a speed mode to multiply or divide the speed of your recorded motion, and you can ping-pong or run it in reverse, etc.
On either side of the Motion Recording window are Quick Mod and Quick FX areas, for assigning and directly controlling parameters and assigning modulators (basically a quick mod matrix and quick fx-mix matrix.).
In addition to the Main screen, the two other screens available by tab are the (Main) Modulation screen and (Main) Fx screen. The Modulation screen is a place to edit the data on Four Sequencers - and to set controls on a few LFOs, with the modulation targets for these sequencers and LFOs being set from the Quick Mod area. While I did not see a macro control system, one has a place to assign Mod Wheel and Aftertouch, and that wraps up the Modulation Page.
The FX page includes the very useful Time Stop features that will be familiar to Lunaris users. In summary it includes a highly realistic convolution reverb, and each dual layer part AB and CD has its own effect chain with Chorus, Phaser, Distortion, EQ, Timestop and Replika Delay effects. Bioscape actually compares favorably to some more expensive products, with the flexibility of using one's own samples, and it has probably more interesting and "curated" loops than you will find in other products.Read Review
The sounds in this program are phenomenal. I was looking for quality in a Pad or Cinematic Ambience Creation tool, and after dabbling with it for a number of hours, I know I've made the right choice. There are some other powerhouses out there, including Arpology, that basically offer a different set of tools (and Arpology is much more expensive, but that's another story). But nothing as important as getting just the right vibe for your project, and of the other "blending" Pad vsts, this one caught my attention immediately, partly because I used 2 other Luftrom releases in the past.
On the weaker side, the two hiccups I've had since purchasing this are 1) I had an older version of Kontakt in one of my folders, and my DAW was using that version (after migrating my VST folders to 2 different PCs in the last several years), completely unbeknownst to me. [That was totally my fault, but I blame Native Instruments - at least I would do so if I was less sober right now] 2) I have a disappointment in the way the step sequencer section functions. Nevertheless, since I already own Arpology that's sort of beside the point, and probably will get corrected in a version or two.
The sound designers on this collection, per the manual, include Arksun, Bigtone, Himalaya,
Luftrum, Martin Walker, Adam Pietruszko, Twolegs Toneworks, Brandon Clark and Michael
Lyon. I now imagine that these designers are experienced professionals, because I have not purchased a collection I've liked better. You can dial in combinations that really sound authentic, personal, and continuously intriguing.
As with some of the other similar products, this is basically a blending product, comprising 4 layers.
The layers are called A, B, C, and D. Each Layer has its own amplitude envelope, resonance, resonance cutoff etc. They can all be pitched up/down up to 36 semitones. There are 6 delicious filter types. All the layers allow the selection of Pad Sources.
But C & D in particular include other sound sources, which, wonderfully, includes synth transients, field recordings, and synth soundscapes.
I think what I was most blown away by was selecting some of the synth transients to combine with my sound. What a fantastic idea to include such a great collection of them here. I can sample them out and use them elsewhere too, which is really a boon.
You know, having this it really feels like owning a real bank of hardware synths and having 24 hours a day to fool with them, compressed into the blink of an eye.
The 3 added effects for the group of pads in the preset include Random (keeping your env, mod, filters, and FX the same but swapping out random selections for A, B, C, & D. The two others include Time Stop, and Filter Split. Time Stop is fairly obvious, it is like placing a hold on a reverb - which can be incredibly useful if you are a soundtrack designer. Filter Split is a unique effect that intelligently sets up filters between the different patches, and can be selected multiple times until the right combination happens.
As afforementioned, I did experience a bit of vertigo when I wasn't able to understand how the step sequencer functions, to make basic semitone moves. But hey, the goal here is more of an unpredictable, more ambient result, so I'll leave that for my Arpology, Kirnu Cream, and Omnisphere Live Mode.
Basically the remainder of the Library is self explanatory. Each of the Layers have a main tab, flux motion tab, envelope tab, and fx tab. Flux motion works well, comprising filter, volume and pan settings. Per the manual, "clicking the 'generate' button will change the underlying low-freq algorithm behind the mod, applying new subtle motion to the parameters..." - Auto-generated at the press of a button. :) The MOD Sequence tab has two sides: The Sequencer/Modulator side allows sequencing of Pitch, Filter, Volume or Pan (But only 1 at a time). The other side is the LFO side, which includes two LFOs (one of them free-running), each with their own destination and type of waveform. Samples&Hold is one of the choices, which is intriguing. At a button press the LFOs can be sync'd to your DAW tempo.
The FX are noticeably exceptionally high quality, including Chorus, Distorion, Phaser, EQ, Delay, and Reverb. The reverbs are IR-based, with some wonderful presets.
But basically its the quality of included sounds in this Kontakt Library that makes it, they surpass, as a group, anything you will likely ever find in one place. I think the package is easily worth 4 times the price, and although I'm not wealthy by any stretch, I can't see how I could better spend that money.Read Review